Sorting Data in MS-Word

Have you ever found yourself wishing that the list you just typed in MS Word was alphabetized? Or, for those of you who are good with Excel, you're probably wishing you typed the list in Excel in the first place (where it's so easy to sort data). Turns out that it's very easy to sort data in MS-Word, here's how!

  • Highlight the entire list.
  • Go to the Table menu and choose the Sort option.

You'll see that the default is set to Sort by Paragraphs, type of Text, Ascending. This will make your list alphabetical A to Z. (Descending will reverse the list from Z to A).

There is an option of telling the program that your list has a header row (or title). If you highlighted a title with the data, you would use this option to prevent the program from sorting your title into the list. (In other words, the first row stays in place, regardless of its first letter).

When you have everything set the way you want, click the OK button. You will be returned to the document and you should see that the list is now in order.

Quick Note: When creating a list, think about the spacing. If you want the list double-spaced, highlight all the text and set the paragraph to be double-spaced. Do not simply hit the Enter button twice at the end of each line, it will become an editing nightmare and when the sorting is finished, it will put all of the blank spaces at the top of the list, leaving the data single-spaced anyway.

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